Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 29
Haryana Lokayukta Justice Nawal Kishore Agarwal (retd) has called for an investigation by a SIT into renewal of licences in Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department after the misuse of appellate powers has come to the fore.
Cdr Dharam Vir Yadav (retd), resident of Mayfield Garden, Sector 51, Gurgaon, approached Lokayukta against former Director General TCP, TC Gupta, alleging that he favoured developer who had not completed development works in Mayfield Garden colony as per approved layout plan and service estimates.
The Lokayukta observed that licences were amalgamated in violation of the specific rules; completion or part completion certificate of the colony for internal development works had not been obtained, unauthorised commercial markets were constructed on dispensary and residential sites and the coloniser illegally constructed and sold more than 3,600 independent floors in violation of terms of licence.
The first notice for cancellation of licence was issued on March 21, 2011 and it was cancelled on February 10, 2012.
However, in appeal then Principal Secretary TCP SS Dhillon set aside the cancellation order with a direction to renew the licence along with bank guarantee, said Lokayukta.
Justice Agarwal said it was not the end that when the action was not taken even thereafter. When vide an order dated March 17, 2015, then Director TCP directed District Town Planner (Enforcement) Gurgaon to initiate prosecution against the coloniser on account of non-compliance of the conditions of licences, the same was stayed by the then Principal Secretary, TCP department, vide an order dated March 20, 2015.
Justice Agarwal further said that surprisingly though the deficiencies and illegalities were continued even then Principal Secretary TCP department vide an order dated June 4, 2019 directed the coloniser to get the licences renewed and was also directed to apply afresh for grant of completion or part completion certificate.
While giving clean chit to TC Gupta, Justice Agarwal said he took pain in punishing the coloniser by issuing notice and then cancelled the licence, but it appeared that “his efforts went in vain due to Dhillon’s order”.
Justice Agarwal noted that prima facie it appeared that appellate authorities ignored the facts, situation of the matter and statutory provisions in its proper perspective and became instrumental in saving the builder, though they were aware that despite the licences were issued in the year 1994 to the builders, they failed to complete the work even till date.
For Mayfield Green project, Lokayukta called for forming a SIT comprising senior-most retired district judge, an IAS officer who is well versed with functioning of TCP department and officer from Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) against the public servants, who were required to work as per statutory provisions and taking departmental action against them. It also called for forming a SIT which would investigate all such projects.
Ex-IAS officer SS Dhillon reacted, “I have retired two years ago. I don’t remember about the case. I was not even called during the proceedings of the case before Lokayukta.”